December 29-30 Stakes Recap

A recap of non-graded stakes.

Q-Racing Journal

Corona By Corona earned his first stakes victory in Saturday's Holiday Handicap for 2-year-olds at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the week of December 29-30. For recaps of graded stakes, Bank of America Racing Challenge stakes and trials, and stakes with purses of $100,000 or more, see the individual recaps in the Racing News section. This page will be updated throughout the week.

Los Alamitos
Keith Nellesen's Corona By Corona, a bay son of Corona Cartel, sprinted to a half-length victory in Saturday's $20,000 Holiday Handicap for 2-year-olds.

Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Paul Jones, Corona By Corona covered 350 yards in :17.710. In addition to earning a 91 speed index, the gelding banked $11,000 from his first stakes win.

Corona By Corona was bred in Utah by Nellesen and Lance Robinson’s McColee Land & Livestock LLC. His dam, Louisiana Corona, is an 8-year-old daughter of champion Jess Louisiana Blue who won the 2014 Junos Request Stakes (G2) at Remington Park in her final career start.

Corona By Corona's second dam, the First Down Dash mare Corona Cash, was the sport's champion 2-year-old filly in 1997 and champion 3-year-old the following season.

“McColee Land & Livestock have a nice breeding program,” said Jones. “They have some of the best mares in the country and they’re breeding them to the right stallions. It shows in the races.

"Corona By Corona is a nice horse that people kind of overlooked," the trainer added. "He's in some derbies, and I think he’ll get better and better. He’s starting to do things right and becoming more professional.”

Raced exclusively at this track, Corona By Corona has won three of nine starts and has earned $27,265.

Purty Fancy Dude, Bail Czech, Silver Jet Dash, Striver, Moon Me Blue, Bolt For Gold, Mommas Dynasty, and Singles Cruise completed the order of finish.

Turf Paradise
Two official Quarter Horse stakes were contested at this track on Sunday. Larry Stark's Jess A Cowboy, a homebred 6-year-old son of the Mr Jess Perry stallion Dejon, won the 440-yard, $17,500 Turf Paradise Championship.

Ridden by Mark Jasso for trainer Matt Fales, Jess A Cowboy defeated Liddle Doc by two lengths in :21.858. The Arizona-bred gelding earned $10,308 while scoring his 11th win in 35 outs.

Jess A Cowboy was coming off of a fifth-place finish in the 440-yard, $250,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos on November 17. The gelding has won eight stakes in California and Arizona, and he has banked $215,187.

Dragon On The Moon ran third and was followed by Higher Icon, Dig Deeper, Volcano, Ketels Kitten, Jay Collins, Nevada Cat, and Captain On Takeoff.

Also on Sunday, Mark Jasso rode Jus Cuz to a half-length victory in the $16,150 AQRA Southwest Futurity for 2-year-olds.

Prepped by Matt Fales for owners Osvaldo Venegas and David Guzman, Jus Cuz went 350 yards in :17.896. The bay Texas Icon filly banked $8,075 from her second stakes win.

Jus Cuz was bred in Arizona by Elaine Cota Robles. The filly is out of Cuz I Say So, a stakes-winning 8-year-old daughter of 1987 world champion First Down Dash.

Raced at this track and Los Alamitos, Jus Cuz has won two of seven starts, including the October 28 Arizona QRA Futurity, and she has earned $21,462.

Babe Watchin, Reginas Royal Choice, Willy Nelson, Jess Play For Me, and Nochebonita completed the order of finish.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit